Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

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August 23, 2018 | View PDF


Elza P. Godun, 24, Spokane, the last of three defendants to be sentenced in the May 26 car chase on Johnson Road, pleaded guilty to three amended charges Friday morning in superior court. Godun pleaded guilty to charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of stolen property in the second degree and riding in a motor vehicle without permission.

Prosecutor Denis Tracy told the court Godun and the other two defendants in the case gave varying accounts of events connected with the arrest, but he believes Godun was more forthright.

In addition to drugs, $5,000 in cash was found in the extended-cab pickup which was reported stolen in Latah County. Tracy said Godun admitted the trio had traveled south from Spokane with the intent of selling drugs. A price list for a variety of drug amounts was found in the stolen car.

The arrest May 26 started when Palouse Officer Joe Handley, who was working an emphasis patrol in Pullman, attempted to stop a pickup truck which was entering Pullman from Moscow. The driver of the truck took off and a chase followed out Johnson Road and dirt roads in the area. The chase ended when the truck had mechanical problems.

Godun was in the back passenger seat of the truck.

Tracy said Deputy Tyler Langerveld, who also took part in the chase, about two weeks earlier had stopped to check on a Jeep which had been stopped along a road by Godun. At the time she told him she was not having any difficulty, but Langerveld later learned the Jeep’s owner was in the process of reporting it stolen.

Tracy said Godun admitted she had a serious drug problem and that her family had arranged for in-patient drug treatment. Godun told the court she has been able to set her mind straight during the time she has been in jail, and is anxious to get home to take care of two children.

Tracy said Godun did not have a criminal record and she was sentenced under the first offender option. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for time served, ordered to undergo drug and alcohol evaluation and comply with any recommended treatment. She was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $2,400 to owners of the two vehicles and be under supervision for a year.

Austin Navorro of Spokane, driver of the pickup truck, was sentenced to 20 months in state prison July 13 after pleading guilty to a charge of attempting to elude.


Colfax residents Friday morning had to check twice when water actually began to fall from the sky. It was really rain, and it was charted as a “trace” on the NRCS gauge at Colfax.

The rain fell at approximately 7:45 a.m.

Possible rain had been predicted for this area with a weather front moving up through Oregon. The prediction included possible lightning and thunder storms with not much rain.

The rain ended a 48-day run of dry days. The last rain charted here was .04 on June 29.

June actually finished with a 1.69 precipitation total which was .33 above average. That June total plus rainfalls for May have been noted as the reason for the high yields which are now being logged for this year’s wheat crop.

The NRCS logged zero precipitation for the 31 days in July and zero again for the first 16 days of August.

Normal rainfall total for July at Colfax is .56 inches.


Volunteers from Catalyst Church have painted the restrooms at Hamilton Park in Colfax. The group has also painted the restrooms at Eells Park. Sam Corsland, outreach coordinator for the church, arranged for the painting project, according to Steve Larkin, parks director.


A 2004 Kia Sorrento caught fire and burned Aug. 15 on Highway 127 north of Dusty. According to the report of Washington State Patrol Trooper Bruce Blood, Anthony Stubbe, Walla Walla, was driving the Sorrento northbound at 10:25 a.m. when he heard a bang and pulled onto the shoulder of the road after he saw smoke. The vehicle became fully engulfed in flames and the fire spread up an embankment next to the highway, but was quickly extinguished by local fire crews. Stubbe was unhurt.


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